When in the Gulf, you'd better follow the dress code or you'll risk getting a fine. Even worse, you may have to do a stint in jail.
Twenty expat women in Oman had to find that out the hard way when they were arrested by police for being inappropriately dressed in public, the Royal Omani Police said in a statement. The women were arrested in the public area of Khuwair in Bausher, where many restaurants and shops are located.
"The Criminal Investigation Department of Bausher Police station of Muscat police command arrested 20 women for appearing in inappropriate manner," the Royal Oman Police said in a statement.
Dressing unsuitably has long since been a point of contention between Gulf nationals and expats. Some locals, who adhere to a conservative dress code that includes a head scarf and abaya over their clothing for women, often do not appreciate less covered up individuals in public places, as it can be seen as a personal offense to their culture and customs.
According to the Omani Penal Code of the Royal Decree No. 7/2018 those who undermine traditions and values of the society could be behind bars for at least a month and no more than three months. They could also be fined anywhere between OMR 300 and OMR 500, reports Times of Oman.
In the UAE, signs for individuals to be dressed appropriately are placed on many government buildings, public places and entities – such as the co-operative. And while expats can wear bikinis on the beach and whatever they want in private residences, in public they are required to cover their shoulders and wear shorts or skirts that come up to the knee. Although a lot of the time you could get away with wearing a strappy top and bottoms that are much shorter in length than required, without problem in malls and certain public places. This issue is in areas that are mostly frequented by locals, plus in government buildings and mosques, where a loose head scarf is required for religious purposes.